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Repair a broken FireWire interface
Authored by: foilpan on Nov 29, '05 08:15:47AM

this firewire issue sucks if you have a device connected to a server, like an Xserve, that needs to be available to users all the time.

i had similar problems with a tape backup unit flaking out and seemingly disappearing at inopportune times.

is there any better way to deal with this than to reboot? are there any useful firewire bus troubleshooting tools out there, much like the old scsi tools -- or even usb bus prober?

hmmm...



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firewire debugging utils
Authored by: hayne on Nov 29, '05 09:01:20AM

I have no experience in using these, but I note that there are several example projects provided with Apple's developer tools, under the Examples/IOKit folder.
In particular, one of these is "FWUtil" which is a command-line utility. Running it and typing "help" shows that one of its commands allows you to reset the firewire bus.



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Repair a broken FireWire interface
Authored by: TrumpetPower! on Nov 29, '05 11:00:27AM

I don’t mean this to sound snippy…but, if you can’t afford downtime, then you can afford sufficient redundancy so that something like this is an inconvenience to you and unnoticeable to anybody else.

It’s really a management / finance decision. Hardware will fail; software will need to be upgraded; servers will need to be rebooted. If you’re on a tight budget, then it’s been decided (knowledgeably and intelligently or otherwise) that the resulting downtime is cheaper than the equipment necessary to avoid the downtime. If that’s not actually the case, then whoever makes those kinds of budget concerns needs to re-evaluate the situation.

Cheers,

b&



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Repair a broken FireWire interface
Authored by: klktrk on Nov 29, '05 02:35:33PM
TrumpetPower writes:
I don't mean this to sound snippy…but, if you can't afford downtime, then you can afford sufficient redundancy so that something like this is an inconvenience to you and unnoticeable to anybody else.

TrumpetPower, you are absolutely in the right. But gosh you sound snippy.

If I find myself typing "I don't mean to sound..." it's a warning: Walk away from the keyboard!



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"Snippy"
Authored by: MJCube on Nov 30, '05 07:48:43AM

I dunno, it didn't sound snippy to me, just factual. Nature is cruel; business is unforgiving. The old adage "The show must go on!" is about Broadway being not art but business. And downtime happens: My online banking site suddenly stopped supporting Safari a few days ago, and they're still "working on it."



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circumstances beyond my control
Authored by: foilpan on Nov 30, '05 03:45:43PM

well, i agree redundancy is a great idea -- even necessary -- to keep businesses afloat.

BUT... i work for an IT consulting company that deals with many charter schools. among these clients are some rather financially strapped organizations that have serious budget problems on their hands.

in the example i listed in the original reply to this post, the school itself occupied an old manufacturing building of some sort. the previous tenants had actually cut the ethernet cables at both ends, so most in-wall ports -- if rooms had them at all -- didn't even work.

their lone Xserve was used as a file server and not much more. unfortunately, it had problems with retrospect, an exabyte firewire tape drive, and frequent firewire bus dropouts.

yes, they could afford the downtime, since they had relatively few staff. but they definitely couldn't afford redundancy.

for situations like this, wherein i don't hold the purse strings and only have a relatively new relationship with the client, i can't always recommend they go out and double their hardware to provide redundancy. it just doesn't work like that.

on top of that, many companies don't understand, can't afford, or really don't need redundant servers. there are far too many factors involved here.



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